§ Mr. Colvin
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria were used in the selection of licensees for cable television operation; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hurd
The criteria were set out in the White Paper on the development of cable systems and services —Cmnd. 8866. That indicated that a limited number of licences—perhaps 10 or 12—would be issued for those proposals which appeared likely to offer the most positive contribution to the application of advanced technology and provided both a comprehensive range of programme services and the capability for interactive services. Although the areas were left to applicants to propose, licences would be issued only for areas covering an indentifiable and self-contained community of not more than about 100,000 homes, in order to minimise conflict620W with the future decisions of the cable authority. The applications were assessed in addition for their general conformity with the requirements of the White Paper and to ensure that the financial and management resources necessary to fulfil their promises would be available.